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Eli Lilly's weight loss drug could help sleep apnea patients

Shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) are slightly above their flatline Wednesday morning after the pharmaceutical giant announced positive results from a clinical trial of GLP-1 its weight loss drug Zepbound. The trial revealed that the drug helped patients with sleep apnea, a condition characterized by irregular breathing during sleep.

The company is now moving to apply for an expanded label from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If approved, it would allow Zepbound to be prescribed and used for the treatment of sleep apnea, in addition to its current weight loss use.

Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani breaks down the details.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode.

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This post was written by Angel Smith

Video transcript

MADISON MILLS: Well, shares of Eli Lilly are rising this morning on news that its weight loss drug helped reduce irregular breathing in patients with sleep apnea in recent late-stage trials. Here with the details, we have our very own health reporter Anjalee Khemlani. Anjalee.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right. This really adds to the list of what we know Zepbound, Eli Lilly's GLP 1 product, is going to be set up for. We already know that these GLP products are being looked at for solving multiple problems. And now, Lilly has an opportunity to-- it says midyear-- apply with the FDA for an expanded label for Zepbound.

This adds to what we also know Novo Nordisk just got, which is the cardiovascular benefit. If we look across the board, there are a number of other opportunities that both Lilly and Novo Nordisk are looking at. That includes liver as well as kidney treatment. So there are a number of other opportunities that we're going to probably be seeing coming down the pike.

But as of right now, Eli Lilly gets this one with the benefit for sleep apnea, improving the-- or rather reducing the number of incidents throughout the night in which the airways are obstructed. And so that is the good news that they've had in this late-stage trial.

And like I mentioned, going to be applying with the FDA for that expanded label, so doctors can prescribe it for that purpose, as well as the 20% reduction in weight later this year.